Blackpool police investigating claims supply teacher pushed Mereside Primary pupil in classroom tirade

‘Chaos’ broke out at a Blackpool primary school when a supply teacher allegedly pushed a child and swore at pupils, parents say.

By Wes Holmes
Wednesday, 13th July 2022, 3:45 pm
Updated Wednesday, 13th July 2022, 5:58 pm

Parents of Year 3 and 4 pupils in a mixed class at Mereside Primary Academy received a message on the school’s app informing them ‘a small number of children… have not settled well with a new teacher’ shortly after 3pm on Thursday, July 7.

They later heard that the supply teacher, from employment agency Randstad, had verbally abused their children, thrown books, and forced them to erase work they had completed.

One girl was allegedly pushed by the teacher – resulting in police being called and the force has now said it is investigation an allegation of common assault.

Mereside Primary School. Photo: Kelvin Stuttard

Both the school and employment are also investigating.

What do parents say happened at Mereside Primary?

Sarah Scott’s sons Jaxon, eight, and Max Dundavan, nine, were in the mixed-year class the day the incident occurred.

She said: “Max had finished his work, and he gave her his book and she got hold of it and threw it across the classroom, and called him a b**** in the process.

Lydia Richardson, Jaxon and Max Dundavan, and Ellis Smith who were in the affected Year 3/4 class. Photo: Kelvin Stuttard

"They all refused to come in after lunch time – they were just hysterical. They didn't want to go in. There were children sat under the desks, crying.”

She added that the incident eventually led to the supply teacher refusing the leave the school grounds, and having to be escorted off the property by the deputy head.

Sarah added: "I'm just angry how it's all being dealt with. Putting a message out on an app literally minutes before we came to pick them up. We should have all been called in.

Stephanie Richardson’s eight-year-old daughter Lydia was allegedly pushed with both hands by the teacher, and was also sworn at.

The message shared with pupils' parents

"It’s just unbelievable,” she said. “You send your kid to school trusting they’re going to be safe. Honestly, I don’t know why it happened. I haven’t got a clue.”

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What will happen now?

It is understood that children in the affected class have been called on by the school to give their accounts of what happened that day, both verbally and in writing.

But Sarah, a mum of four who lives in Mereside, said she was told by the school that the outcome of their investigation would remain private. Fellow parent, Stephanie added: There should be procedures in place. I’ve not even had an apology. They’ve not even apologised to the children. I’m so unhappy with how it has all been handled.”

What have the school and supply teacher agency said?

Police confirmed they are looking into the matter and will be speaking to parents about it this week.

A spokesman for the Fylde Coast Academy Trust said: "We are working closely with all agencies to investigate these serious allegations. As such, we are unable to make specific comment at this time."

A spokesman for Randstad, the employment agency, said: “All education candidates undergo rigorous background checks in line with safer recruitment guidelines and keeping children safe in education 2021 statutory guidance. Any allegations or concerns related to safeguarding are fully investigated and we will take appropriate action based upon any findings.”

The Fylde Coast Academy Trust, which oversees Mereside Primary Academy, said the school used all safeguarding and safer recruitment policies.